Tourism Victoria has taken a new name and unveiled a refurbished brand that it expects will better reflect the region and the organization tasked with marketing it.
The organization is now called Destination Greater Victoria, which brings it in line with senior marketing organizations Destination Canada, previously the Canadian Tourism Commission, and Destination B.C., the forerunner of Tourism B.C.
It has also spruced up its branding with a new tagline “Oceans apart from ordinary” that will replace “Full of life” as the organization intends to focus its marketing efforts on selling the region’s beauty, physical infrastructure and charm as well as the connection to the sea.
“This will elevate us to a whole new level of efficiency,” said Paul Nursey, chief executive of Destination Greater Victoria.
Nursey said Destination Greater Victoria and its members are focused on yield rather than growing visitor numbers — basically drawing more money from those who come to the region — and the new brand, which will start appearing in marketing this fall, reflects that.
“We have a more integrated team now,” said Nursey, adding the $150,000 rebranding project was due. The “Full of life” tagline “didn’t stop ringing a bell. It was just time for an evolution. It was time for a brand refresh.”
Since it was introduced by Tourism Victoria in 2006, that tagline had also been “borrowed” by Croatia.
Nursey said he didn’t see the value in suing Croatia over trademark infringement, and there was no rush to change what had been working for Victoria.
A recent Destination Greater Victoria study found that tourism employs 22,000 people in the region.
“We have become a new destination, globally recognized and our customer wants more, to go deeper and experience more,” Nursey said. He also noted visitors went from being focused on experiences to wanting to be transformed.
“They want to feel changed and taken away,” he said, noting the new tagline evokes a sense of arrival, that Victoria is a unique place and offers a payoff for travellers who manage to get here.
Destination Think!, an international agency specializing in destination promotion and development, worked for six months to identify the essence of the region and what sets it apart for travellers. “What I am really impressed with is [Destination Greater Victoria] took their time to think about it,” said Geoff Dickson, CEO of the Victoria International Airport and Destination Greater Victoria board member. “[Nursey’s team] spent three to four years getting to know the destination. And the way the area is evolving it made sense to broaden.”
Previous Destination Greater Victoria board chair Dave Cowen, chief executive at Butchart Gardens, said he loves the new brand.
“I know it’s authentic and truthful because it was a ground-up process,” he said. “Data was collected from people who live here and visitors from far and near and I think [the data behind the brand and tagline] is an accurate representation of what there is to see and do in Greater Victoria.
“And the ‘Oceans apart’ tagline I think in two words really sums up what is different about Greater Victoria.”
Cowen also likes the name change, noting it reflects the way the various destination marketing organizations work together.
“The levels of destination-marketing organizations have been trying to align and not trip over each other. Over the past five to eight years they’ve done a great job of defining where they will work so money is well spent and leveraged.”